High Capacity VSAN Nodes Part 3

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series High Capacity VSAN Nodes


This is part three in a series of posts discussing lessons I learned from helping a partner engineer a 400+ TB VSAN Solution. It turns out that high capacity VSAN nodes are a slightly different beast than the standard off-the-shelf solution. Part one discussed different density issues as related to disk configurations. Part two worked through a hypothetical 1TB/day, 365 day retention engineering solution. In part three, I’ll be continuing with that example and exploring possible models for purchasing and growing such a solution.

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High Capacity VSAN Nodes Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series High Capacity VSAN Nodes


This is part 2 of a series of lessons learned and examples worked based on a 400+ TB VSAN solution I helped a partner engineer. I’m comparing high capacity VSAN nodes with standard configurations. This post will focus on calculating the IOPS required to de-stage writes from the caching layer, then examining the implications on hardware choices.

Continue reading High Capacity VSAN Nodes Part 2

High Capacity VSAN Nodes Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series High Capacity VSAN Nodes


I was recently asked for some help engineering high capacity VSAN nodes for a large storage solution which brought up some issues I thought would be interesting to share. By high capacity, I mean the customer was looking for 400TB with the ability to grow to a petabyte. I found that the standard building blocks didn’t make economic sense for the customer’s ratio of workloads to storage. As a result, we examined the available platforms for greater capacities per node.

The first thing I’d like to examine are the various density trade-offs that can be made in choosing a configuration.

Continue reading High Capacity VSAN Nodes Part 1

SDN Solutions for vCloud Suite 6

In the wake of VMware’s vSphere 6 announcements, I’ve had multiple clients ask me about SDN Solutions for vCloud Suite. For quick background, SDN (Software Defined Networking) in vCloud Suite 5.x and earlier consisted of vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS). vCNS is a bundle of virtual networking appliances to provide …

… virtual firewall, virtual private network (VPN), load balancing, NAT, DHCP and VXLAN-extended networks.

So why am I bringing this up? Well, in vCloud Suite 6, vCNS is no longer included. Well, mostly. If you’re a VMware Service Provider partner (VMware IaaS Powered Services), vCNS is still part of the Premier and Premier Plus bundles. Continue reading SDN Solutions for vCloud Suite 6

Long Distance vMotion License


While presenting vSphere 6 changes this week, I was asked what vSphere Edition was required to get a Long Distance vMotion License. I hadn’t thought about it before, and stated that I thought it was part of the basic vMotion licensing. During a break, some colleagues told me they thought it was part of Enterprise Plus. That had me floored. How could vSphere check for a Long Distance vMotion license as opposed to a normal one? Is there some network check of the round trip time? What exactly is being licensed? Continue reading Long Distance vMotion License

Replicating to vCloud Air DR

Can you choose which disks are replicating to vCloud Air DR? I don't know.
The truth is, I just don’t know. Yet.

I was asked an interesting question last week which I’ve yet to get an answer on: Can users choose which disks are replicating to vCloud Air DR? Sometimes there are entire disks worth of data that aren’t core to the job of the workload in a DR situation. Not only could a customer potentially save money by not paying for unneeded storage, it’s operationally better to not replicate data that wouldn’t be used or missed in a DR situation. Like what? Well, installation package downloads, non-critical ISOs, data extractions which could be re-created from other replicated data, etc. In fact, if customers know this is a possibility, they might create a disk specifically for all the info that they don’t care to have replicated for DR. So is it possible?

Update: No. You have to replicate all disks associated with the guest (details at the bottom) 

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Hosting and Branding Changes

hosting and branding is under construction
Photo by ericmerrill

Just some insight on what’s going on behind the scenes here.


I’m re-branding the Virtual Journeyman blog as vJourneyman to align with all my other social media naming. This tweak is probably overdue, but to be honest, I haven’t really been generating enough content to warrant spending time on the form or function of the blog. Having now gotten through the first full calendar year at work, I hope I have enough discipline and inspiration to post regularly.

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VSAN Value and Paradigm Shifts


The VSAN story is out and doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. It feels like everyone I talk to is asking about the product and the pricing model (see VSAN Pricing and Implications). More than once now, I’ve seen a wince or the written equivalent. I can certainly understand, as an extra $15K in licensing to a six CPU cluster is far from trivial. My goal here is to unpack the pricing a bit to examine the value that’s being delivered (the value is non-trivial as well). Continue reading VSAN Value and Paradigm Shifts

VSAN Pricing Revealed and Implications Explored

After a wide-open public beta, lots of speculation about licensing models and costs, and a long wait, VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) went GA on March 12, 2014. The basic issue of pricing was revealed: $2,495 per CPU socket for any workload or a $50/user model for Horizon View. What are the implications of VSAN pricing for end users? Continue reading VSAN Pricing Revealed and Implications Explored

VMware PEX 2014 Day 1

OK, so I really meant to do a series of posts speculating on General Availability announcements based on a close reading of the VMware Partner Exchange Content Catalog. Life intervened, and I only got through the VSAN content. And now that VMware PEX 2014 Day 1 has come and gone, it seems anti-climactic. There were no GA announcements on VSAN, BC/DR to vCHS, Desktone’s integration into the VMware lineup, NSX in the channel, or Airwatch mobile device management integration into the EUC lineup.

On the other hand, I’d have to characterize VMware PEX Day 1 as a success. Continue reading VMware PEX 2014 Day 1